here’s how to boost your immunity this winter

Posted on July 19th, 2013

It’s been a cold few weeks. Our friends over in Tassie had their coldest day on record at minus 12, and I’ve been shivering in my ugg boots at home. It’s around about now, each year, that that I head overseas. Bound for warmer climes. Stay tuned on this front…

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

I struggle in the winter. I have to work hard to keep my immunity up because of my autoimmune disease. You can catch up on that here. And I write regularly about how I try to keep things on track. Not by pushing too hard, but by experimenting and working at daily habits to build real wellness. And I’m constantly on the lookout for little things that keep me keeping on…

So here’s one that’s come across my radar a few times now – olive leaf extract, a natural product that can be taken all year round (but particularly in winter) to boost your immunity and manage viral infections, especially when fever is present. In Australia, Olive Leaf Australia is widely available in leading health food stores, or online.

And just so you know, this is a sponsored post, but opinions are all my own and I researched the topic and came to these conclusions myself. You’ll find my position on sponsored posts and advertising here.

I asked Jo to look into this one a little more. This is what she came back with…

1. The Mediterranean diet factor:

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know Sarah’s done lots of work looking into this diet, in particular, spending six weeks with National Geographic’s Blue Zone team in Ikaria last year investigating it in detail. You’ll be able to catch up here and here.

There’s so much to be said for this diet. It’s one of the most widely promoted and scientifically proven healthy lifestyles in the world. It’s rich in antioxidants – which we’ll get to in a moment – such as grapes, olives, berries and of course, red wine and extra virgin olive oil. It’s full of whole foods, no processed stuff, which is just the way we should be eating.

And the whole thing kinda centres really heavily around the olive trees, the leaves of which contain compounds enabling the trees to live – often – for more than 1000 years, withstanding heat and cold, and attacks from pests, viruses and bacteria. Research has shown when you package those compounds into a nifty bundle for us to use, we reap much the same benefits.

2. The antioxidant factor:

Extra immunity boosts are critical at this time of year. Sometimes it’s hard to make sure we’re getting enough of antioxidants in our diet, so why not cut straight to the chase with OLE. There’s 400 per cent more antioxidants in OLE than in the equivalent amount of Vitamin C, and a recent university study showed that Olive Leaf Australia’s OLE contains up to 40 times the total antioxidants of even the freshest extra virgin olive oils.

Further research* conducted at Australia’s Southern Cross University identified olive leaf as the most powerful, free radical-scavenging antioxidant of 55 medicinal herbs. Ergo, OLE is a great supplement to try, instead of taking 938473298 different herbs.

3. The sugar-related factor:

Olive leaves help support normal glucose levels in your blood. So taking Olive Leaf Extract can help to maintain blood sugar levels and stabilise insulin activity in high-risk Type 2 diabetes sufferers. Taking OLE also helps reduce the risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes, this clinical trial found.

4. The Fight the Flu factor:

The core way that OLE helps to fight invading organisms is two-fold**:

  • The olive leaf compounds help to stimulate phagocytosis, which is a big word, but it’s essentially what happens when your immune system cells engulf and destroy invading organisms.
  • They interfere with the ability of bacteria and viruses to replicate themselves and cause infection in your system.

5. Some extra factors Olive Leaf Australia would love you to know, too:

Olive Bottle

  • You should always ask for the extract made from fresh leaves (when you ask for a fresh juice, you wouldn’t expect to get a reconstituted drink – it’s the same for olive leaf extract). Scientific testing shows that liquid olive leaf extracts made from fresh leaves have a broader spectrum potency.  Olive Leaf Australia harvests the leaves at sunrise and concentrates them before lunch, to give that “freshly squeezed” quality.
  • The fresh-picked olive leaf extracts contain no alcohol, sugar, starch, yeast or gluten. No artificial flavours, colourings or preservatives.
  • Kids love it; it comes in a mixed berry flavour for them.
  • Combined with regular exercise, OLE can contribute to a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Olive Leaf Extract is an extremely powerful natural antioxidant and free radical scavenger, suitable for maintaining wellbeing all year round.

Research details:

* Stevenson, L. “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Report on Olive Leaf Australia’s Olive Leaf Extracts.” Southern Cross University (2005).

** 1.  Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical and nutritional considerations. Alt Med Rev 2007;12(1):25-48.
2. Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical and nutritional considerations. Alt Med Rev 2007;12(1):25-48.
Anonymous. Olive leaf: monograph. Alt Med Rev 2009;14(1):62-66

Have you tried Olive Leaf Extract? Use it with your kids? Please share your experience and thoughts below.


Posts on may contain links to sponsors and affiliates with the capacity to receive monetary compensation, which helps to support the growth and development of this site. Giveaways are sponsored promotions and will always be stated as such on the post. Books, eBooks and other products that align with my site and ethos may potentially be accepted for review, but please respect my desire not to clutter my life with “stuff” before you send your wonderful product or press release. I am not a medical professional; rather, a wellness advocate, therefore anything written by myself on this site is my own (researched) opinion and not advice from a trained doctor. Here is a full breakdown of my position on sponsored posts and advertising.

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  • steph

    Thanks for the post Sarah. I swear by this stuff! I didn’t realise it also assisted in minimising the risk of Type 2 diabetes.Even better. We have a bottle of this in the office and as soon as someone starts to sniffle we take a gulp! I don’t have time to get sick and this ensures I don’t.


  • Megan

    It’s so nice to read this because it’s been surprisingly cold here in Karratha for the last week. It gets tiring reading blogs about how to stay cool in the heatwave when we’re bundled up wondering what happened to our usual weather.


    Donna Martin Reply:

    Oh Megan I remember the Pilbara weather minus temps from living in Tom Price for 25years, so so cold. brrr. Rug up and keep warm!


  • K-Star

    Interesting, but since I quit sugar ( 14 months) I haven’t been sick at all (touch wood)… People are always sick around me, but my immunity is solid! Even my kids have not been ill this year which is a huge relief when I think back to the frequency of runny noses before I imposed my new no sugar lifestyle upon them!


  • Lorraine Carlton

    Totally endorse this product. Suggested I try when I had whooping cough 3 years ago and haven’t had a cold or sniffle since. It’s part it’s part of my daily routine.


  • Sarah

    Quick question.. Does OLE stimulate the immune system?

    In relation to this sentence:


    I’m just thinking – those of us with auto-immune diseases have to be a little cautious with immune stimulants, as they can trigger an auto-immune ‘attack’ on the affected organ… as it can be considered an “invader”

    I always find this topic to be a little hazy and it makes me nervous to take supplements…


  • I love OLE! Always use it when I have a bug coming on, but I think I might start using it daily. I have lupus and other autoimmune disease, and I’m on immune suppressants, so I need all the help I can get!


  • Angelika

    Thank you Sarah, a great post. I love your ‘oil articles’ – face & skin, and now for inner health.
    I also have found that since I have been on IQS (1 year) I have not had the flu or any symptoms of a cold. I feel energised all day and never lethargic. The Mediterranean diet and IQS work a treat with my hyperactive thyroid. I’ll be sure to start taking OLE.
    Thank you once again, and best wishes x x


  • VE

    Any suggestion for masking the taste of OLE, it makes me gag but I do need it.


  • Sally

    Hi Sarah

    Your blog is such a wonderful source of info I’d be interested if your autoimmune impacts your ability to deal with cols flu. I am not diagnosed but suspected to have histamine intolerance and have been hospital this week due to my bodies reaction to a cold virus have you experienced this with autoimmune


  • Monique Kelso

    Hi Sarah, what’s your thoughts on echinacea as an immune builder compared to olive leaf extract? I always take echinacea however after just recovering from my 3rd cold this winter I am starting to question if I should bother taking it at all…will definitely give this a try. Thanks 🙂


  • Thanks Sarah, I love this product too and stock on my website along with a range of natural immunity boosters I am also loving bee pollen for a wonderful immunity booster, I’m sure it’s helped ward off colds for my toddler too.


  • Rose

    I agree with this too, though I take an olive leaf extract and echinacea supplement every day.


  • Aimee

    Great post, my mum swears by this stuff! I’ve recently been taking it over the past couple of months have noticed the benefits of it as well.


  • Anna Ritter

    Thanks Sarah for great reading.

    OLE is the only “medicine” my 4year old will take! I give her the pepperment flavoured one and she loves it – everything else she clamps up and refuses to take. I dont blame her as they are usually loaded with sugar!!
    My natrupath put me on it to help fight Candida, which I thought was a thing of the past being sugar and carb freefor nearly 18 months. Apparently you have to also support a good diet with stuff that actually kills Candida and OLE is apparently one of those things. Great to hear though that it helps with blood sugar/Insulin control!!


  • Stormageddon

    Taking immune boosters when you have autoimmune disease makes zero sense to me. The very nature of autoimmune disease is your own immune system attacking your body. Why would you want to strengthen the thing that is attacking your own cells? It’s strong enough already by all evidence!

    Many natural health practitioners and GPs have warned me off olive leaf extract and echinacea for that exact reason.


  • I love OLE as well – for many years my immune system was really run down and this was one of my key ingredients in building it back up!


  • I’m happy I run across your page.. Many will thank you for putting this together since this is what we need during winter. 😉